Written by Sanika Joshi
Drawing blood, medically known as venipuncture, is not an enjoyable process for many people. If the vein is detected easily, healthcare professionals are able to effortlessly draw blood and the process is quick and relatively painless. But if they are not able to find the vein immediately, the procedure may require multiple needles and can become increasingly painful. Therefore, in order to reduce the number of needles and minimize the pain felt by the patient during venipuncture, AccuVein LLC developed a unique medical device, known as the Vein-Illumination Device.
The Vein Illumination Device is a non-contact, portable device that allows clinicians to view the veins required for venipuncture . This device accentuates the hemoglobin in the blood differently than the skin tissue, allowing clinicians to pinpoint or search for the necessary vein required for any blood drawing procedure . In the past, clinicians have been confined to using traditional, orthodox methods, which include palpitation, tourniquet, rubbing the area where the blood is to be drawn, asking the patient to make a fist or using a light to find a vein . In addition, veins for simple injections are especially difficult to locate in pediatric patients, obese patients, neonates, older adults, and those with low blood pressure . Therefore, this vein illumination device was developed to make intravenous procedures more simple and painless.
It is important to understand the numerous implications of this vein illumination device and how it will truly be beneficial for the community. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, the body mass index of the adult population has been increasing from 1999 to 2008. Furthermore, greater than 35% of the population is obese and this makes them more likely to have difficult venous access . This means that there is greater benefit of this vein illumination device, especially for patients who have a high body mass index. Other research studies conducted by AccuVein LLC, have found that the use of the vein illumination device have significantly improved the first attempt intravenous needle placement in obese female patients . In addition, one study that aimed to understand the sources of pain in pediatric patients found that intravenous placements and blood draw procedures were significant contributors of pain . In order to understand whether the vein illumination device would reduce the pain of the pediatric patient population, AccuVein LLC conducted a their own research study to find that their medical technology decreased the pain of pediatric patients by fifty-nine percent .
In essence, this visualization technology created by AccuVein LLC has truly impacted the lives of vulnerable patient populations. It has helped to create a safer, simple, and painless method to draw blood and insert intravenous medications. It has provided more accuracy for clinicians to detect the appropriate veins and reduced their need to insert multiple needle sticks. This device will prove to be beneficial for not only all patient populations, but also in various environments where resources may be low. Perhaps next time, going to the doctor or lab to get blood drawn will not be so bad.